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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Family Focus, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Ethnic & Immigrant Centers, Family Services, Family Services for Adolescent Parents, Human Services, Immigration

Mission: Family Focus helps Chicago-area families living in low-income communities to give their children the best possible start in life. We do whatever it takes to help families gain the confidence and skills to be the parents they want to be.

Results: Last year we served 20,000 people through direct service and referrals. We partner with families to help them access the tools and resources they need to become self-sufficient. This partnership approach differs from the usual social service model and makes the participant invest in their own success, thereby creating long-term change.

Target demographics: Our target beneficiaries are children 0-5 years old, but to impact that age demographic you must first target the family unit.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Young children, immigrants, teen parents, fathers.

Geographic areas served: Chicagoland area including Aurora, Cicero, DuPage, Englewood, Evanston, Hermosa, Highwood, Lawndale, and Melrose Park

Programs: Family Focus concentrates on the needs of young children (0 -5 years) but provides services to children of all ages. Their community-based support services build upon families’ inherent strengths and help young children by providing their families with the skills and support they need to thrive - principles of the Family Support Movement. Family Focus proactively customizes programs to the needs of the communities served. These community specific programs are culturally appropriate to ensure the best outcomes. With a strong focus on the needs of infants and their families, they address the unique issues faced by parents with young children, pregnant and parenting teens, grandparents raising grandchildren, estranged fathers and families exposed to violence. The specific needs of immigrant families are also addressed with a comprehensive range of programs and services. In addition, Family Focus helps families connect to a wide range community services and health care providers and provides after-school programs for children in 40 Chicago-area schools.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Family Focus consistently reviews the needs of their clients and tweaks their programming needs to meet the needs of the community they serve. The staff always has a can do attitude and will find the resources when possible for their clients. It's always a pleasure to collaborate or provide programs with this organization. Nora Barquin goes out of her way to work with many organizations to bring resources to her clients as well as helping organizations that have programs reach the clients.

I have watched many youth flourish as a result of the programs that are brought to the community. Family members are able to live productive lives because barriers are removed because of this caring organization.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Family Focus Aurora serves families in the community with many different programs offered to the Aurora area. Are variety of programs assist families who are interested in youth programs, Healthy Families program, Parents As Teachers program, Family Advocacy Program, Immigration services, Illinois Welcoming Center and many more programs that reach out to our community. Families in the Aurora community feel positive to reach out to us and assist low-income/high risk families.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a fellow non-profit organization collaborator, I've worked with Family Focus Lawndale in helping to promote heart healthy lifestyles and providing resources to the community. Individual empowerment is evident in what they do for residents every day. Their employees are dedicated and do function truly as family, not as "employees" in the usual sense. I find it rewarding to work with them and observe some of the programs they offer. Great organization and a great asset to the community - keep it strong!


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 2

This organization practices unethical standards. Many of their reports to funders are false such as to DHS, CPS, and ISBE PI programs. Money in the form of gift cards were kept by the center directer for many many years. Documents were falsified stating that the 100.00, 50.00, and 200.00 gift cards were give to participants and they were not. So called signed verification sheets stating that participants received gift cards were marked in by staff that this money was received by them. A binder was created and given to Inc accountant Tarita Anderson was created and have in it that participants received gift cards and they did not. A very very small percentage maybe. I know because I created the binder under the direction of Lawndale's center director. Those cards were kept by the center director. I was there. This went on for over three years. Food purchased from Sams Club was food given to employee, center. director's mother, aunts and other family members.

Comments ( 1 )


Merri Ex 12/26/2012

Family Focus is a high quality agency that serves children, families and communities through seven centers in the Chicago area. Family Focus is also audited continuously by four separate government agencies in addition to an independent audit by McGladrey, a high-profile local accounting firm, to ensure that we adhere to the strictest financial standards. We often use gift cards in our programs, and they are carefully tracked by the finance team. We hope that the comments of one disgruntled former employee will not reflect poorly on the good work of all Family Focus staff, who work tirelessly on behalf of our program participants. Family Focus takes all such criticism seriously and we encourage this commenter to contact us to clear up any misunderstandings that may have led to these allegations.

Review from Guidestar